May 2005: Kanazawa, Japan
19-22 May 2005
Kanazawa, the capital of Japan's Ishikawa prefecture, on its nothern coast, is a small city full of charm, where a lot of old neighbourhood have been kept intact throughout the years, adorable "pleasure quarters" and splendid old samurai houses, a castle, one of the most beautiful gardens of the country, and a successful touch of modernity with the recent construction of a museum of contemporary art.
Kanazawa is full of gardens. Its star is Korakuen, said to be one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens and which names comes from the six virtues of gardens, according to chinese tradition, and which Korakuen all holds. But it is not the only space where bliss and serenity can be found, since many of the old houses in the "chaya", the tea quarters (a nice euphemism to name the old geisha quarters), the samurai houses and the temples (including Myoryuji - also called Ninja Dera or "Ninja Temple" for its inventive architecture and many tricks) all have intimate and intricate gardens.
A graceful mix of charming old streets and temples, and right in the middle, the Museum of the 21st Century, an ode to contemporary art and architecture.
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